The World Latin Champion is coming back to the show, probably hoping for a less eventful competition this time around. Katya hit headlines during the 2018 contest when she was photographed kissing dance partner Sean Walsh – despite being married to Strictly choreographer and dancer Neil Jones.
2019 is Katya’s third year in the competition. Before being partnered with Walsh, she won the 2017 contest with Joe McFadden and gave us that fantastic Gangnam style dance with Ed Balls in 2016.
For the fourth year in a row, Neil Jones will appear on the show – but will he finally get a celebrity dance partner after acting as a stand-in for the last three series?
Neil is still with wife Katya after that kiss scandal with Seann Walsh. Speaking at the Radio Times cover party, the couple revealed their own dance show, Somnium, will chart the “ups and downs” of their relationship.
Karen Clifton will also be returning to the Strictly stage for her eighth series, making her the joint longest-serving female professional on the show. The Venezuelan has never won the competition and finished sixth in the contest with celeb partner Charles Venn in 2018.
Coming back for her third series, Dianne Buswell is eyeing up the glitterball trophy once more. She may have been eliminated second when paired with Richard Coles in 2017, but she reached the contest’s final with YouTuber Joe Sugg the following year.
Thankfully, AJ is able to return to the show after the Strictly pro and his dancer brother Curtis were assaulted on a night out in December 2018. Although his brother Curtis, who is a dancer on the Irish version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars, had to have an operation to his knee after the attack, AJ escaped with only bruising to his body.
AJ has made the semi-final every year since he began competing in Strictly, with celebrities Claudia Fragapane, Mollie King and most recently Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman.
Appearing in every single series since the show began in 2004, Anton Du Beke will return once more. And the 52-year-old has vowed to carry on as long as he’s wanted, saying he’ll “never” quit Strictly.
Having been part of the Strictly line-up since series 11, Aljaž Škorjanec has become a Strictly favourite. He won the contest in his debut year with model Abbey Clancy and was also paired up with 2017’s runner-up Gemma Atkinson.
In the 2018 competition, Aljaž finished 8th with Kate Silverton. He’ll be appearing alongside wife Janette Manrara in the 2019 show.
Fresh from her stint as a dance captain on BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer, Oti Mabuse is returning to Strictly for her fifth year. Although she’s never won the contest, she reached the final in 2016 with Danny Mac. In 2018 she was paired up with cricketer Graeme Swann.
After being eliminated, John-Jules tweeted Dowden to thank her for inspiring him on the Strictly dance floor, saying he should have “expressed my gratitude more often”. Shortly after he was voted off the competition, the Red Dwarf actor missed the traditional Strictly: It Takes Two exit interview.
2019 will be Giovanni Pernice’s fifth series on the show – and he’ll be hoping to finally lift the glitterball trophy: he’s made the final on three separate occasions, with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and most recently with Faye Tozer from Steps.
Making his fourth appearance on the show, Gorka hasn’t yet won the competition, but did finish as runner-up with Alexandra Burke in 2017.
While he hasn’t had much luck in the contest, he did find love on the show, and is currently in a relationship with past Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson. The two announced in February 2019 they are expecting a baby.
The four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship will make her second appearance on the show after previously being an assistant choreographer. She hasn’t yet been partnered with a celebrity on the main show, but did win the 2018 Children In Need special with Shane Lynch.
Featuring in every series since 2011, Pasha announced in February he would be leaving Strictly.
In a statement, the pro dancer said: “After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching four finals and lifting one glitter ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge and so I’ve decided to make last year my final season on Strictly.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 later this year
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